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Farms of the Headwaters - Landman Gardens and Bakery and Heatherlea Farm Market

Heatherlea Farm

Landman Garden and Bakery

I loved almost everything we experienced on our tour of the Headwaters but the things that always stick out, for me anyway, are the people I meet. I love getting to meet the people who dedicate their lives to growing and producing the food that we eat and if I can't kind of fall in love with the people, I can't fall for the place.

Two of the farms that that really stuck out, for me, were Landman Gardens and Bakery and Heatherlea Farm Market. The best part is that both of these farms are an easy drive from Toronto - an hour, at most- making them great places to haul an ice packed cooler to, if you know what I'm saying.

Landman Gardens and Bakery

Calling this place "gardens and bakery" is a bit misleading because although there are, in fact, gardens and a bakery, there are also a bazillion goats, chickens, sheep and a couple of cows. Milking the bazillion goats is a big part of their revenue source so maybe it should be called Landman Goatery and Bakery, or Landman Goatery Gardens. Landman Goaty Bread and Gardens?

They are a popular CSA in the area, with shareholders enjoying organic produce from their 2 acre garden with the opportunity to add eggs, preserves and meat from their farm at an extra cost. Even the grain they use in their pies, breads, savoury pastries, cookies and bagels comes from an Ontario mill so they really do walk the walk in regards to keeping it local.

The first Landmans emigrated to Canada in 1954, moving around a bit before settling on this farm in 1969 with their nine children (I was told that the Landman family's nine children saved the local schoolhouse at the time since it was on the verge of closing due to low enrolment). One of those children, Eric Landman, bought the 80 acre dairy farm from his parents in 1997 and now five of his six children still work on the farm.

Daughter, Rebecca, attended cooking school but was quickly disillusioned with what she saw as a huge disconnect between the restaurant industry and the actual food they were serving and how it is grown. After working at a number of bakeries, she returned home to in 2010 to help out when her mom was diagnosed with cancer and never left.

Starting with dairy cows, a small commercial kitchen, a half acre garden and a CSA, she now boasts a 2 acre garden that supplies her 55 shareholders and switched from dairy cows to goat's. Her siblings help take care of the goats and the chickens and they all help out in the kitchen while dad pursues his newfound love for dry stone construction, letting his children take more and more responsibility for the day to day business of the farm. Someone is always milking, baking, gardening or hauling wares to farmer's markets.

All this farmy stuff is all very nice and if you are lucky you can get a tour of the property and commune with the goats (careful, they nibble on your clothing, your hair and your purse) but the real draw, for me, is their Black House Dinners.

A black house is a type of traditional stone house that will find in the Scottish Hebrides and Highlands and Ireland. It is a structure made with dry stone walls - that is to say, stone without mortar and a thatched roof but in this case, they have a living garden on the roof. After a Dry Stone Wall Association of Canada held their festival at the farm, they were left this authentic blackhouse, where they now host dinners.

You can book it for a private function if you can get at least ten friends together or, if you don't have that many friends, you can buy a ticket to one of their scheduled dinners and make some ones. For $55/pp you get a beautiful 5 course meal, coffee, tea and cider and a mini tour of the farm. All the food is made on site, using much of their own meats and produce, fresh bread and if you are lucky, some creamy goat's cheese made from their own fresh goats milk.

The interior features a high, domed, beamed ceiling and a couple of windows to let in just enough light. There is a long harvest table that easily accommodated about 24 of us as long as we were okay with snuggling up.

who doesn't love a baby goat??

322345 Concession 6-7
Grand Valley, Ontario
L9W 0X3

On-farm store is open from May until Christmas: 

May 3rd- June 5th 
Fridays 11 am - 6 pm
Saturdays 10 am - 4 pm

June 12th - October 18
Thursdays 11 am - 5 pm
Fridays 11 am - 6 pm
Saturdays 10 am - 4 pm

October 19-December 20
Fridays 11 am - 5 pm
Saturdays 1:30pm - 4 pm

Christmas Hours: 
December 23:  10 am - 4 pm

December 24: 10 am - 1 pm

Heatherlea Farm Market

Meet Pat McArthur and Melinda McArthur of Heatherlea Farm Market in Caledon. Pat, along with her husband, the charming seventh generation Ontario farmer, Farmer Gord, have been raising hormone free Black Angus Beef since 1975. If you want to remain a successful farmer these days, you have to diversify and adapt and this couple has kept up with the times by converting part of the farmhouse into a The Heatherlea Market Store with the help of their son, Don and daughter-in-law, Melinda McArthur.
Farmer Gord is the real deal

rocking the mud boots with a fellow Carol 
As is not uncommon in farming communities, Gord and his son, Don, were forced to find work outside of the farm to help keep it going. They started McArthur Fence and Construction, which they continue to operate to this day and that, as well as the revenue from selling their wares in their market store. The store only sold their own beef but, slowly, they started to add meat, poultry and other goods from neighbouring farms, supporting their community while guaranteeing that their customers were able to buy high quality, local food. Pat also sells her delicious pies and baked goods as well as well stocked freezers full of main course items like savoury pot pies, mac and cheese, spicy bison chili and a variety of soups along side the array of meats.

You can visit the Market Store Tuesday to Friday from 9am to 6pm, Saturdays from 9am to 5pm and Sundays from 12pm to 4pm. They only close on Mondays because even farmers need a day off. Who am I kidding, farmers never take a day off but they do need a day where city folks aren't pestering them to pet the cows and get some work done.

The McArthurs invited us into their kitchen to help prepare a delectable lunch feast, serving us cider from another local business, Spirt Tree Estate Cidery and put the final nail in the coffin by bringing out freshly made apple pie with a bit of nice, old cheddar. It took all of my energy to waddle back onto the bus and I was sad to leave but I will be going back to stock up a cooler and grab myself a couple more pies.

17049 Winston Churchill Blvd
Caledon, ON
L7K 1J1

Directions from Toronto & GTA

Travel north on Hwy 410 which merges into Hurontario St/Hwy 10 N. Turn left (West) onto King St, continue to Mississauaga Road and make a right turn (North).  Continue on Mississauaga Road until you reach Olde Base Line Road/Regional Road 12, make a left turn (West).  Turn right (North) on 
Winston Churchill Blvd.  We are the last farm on 
the right-hand side before you reach Bush Street.
Phone: 519.927.5902

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